Could Arturo Vidal be set to follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and George Best and don the famous number seven shirt for Manchester United? That will be the case according to one of the continuing stream of rumors that continue to surround Vidal’s prospective transfer to the Premier League club.
The most substantial new reports over the Juventus midfielder’s future come from his homeland. Chilean publication La Tercera states that talks were held between Vidal’s representatives and Juventus director Beppe Marotta, in which a £47 million transfer was discussed, with the player said to have already agreed to personal terms with Manchester Untied on a contract worth around £200,000 a week. The fact that Vidal has now returned to preseason training in Turin following his post-World Cup break means there is likely to be some concrete information on Vidal’s future, one way or the other, in the near future. One man who does think Vidal is on his way is Italian agent Andrea D’Amico, who represents Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco.
“Vidal and [Paul] Pogba? One of the two will leave,” D'Amico told Sky Sport Italia, according to the Daily Mirror. “I’ll go a step further I’m convinced Vidal will certainly leave.”
La Tercera believes that United manager Louis van Gaal is getting anxious to tie up the transfer and, wary of competition from Paris Saint-Germain, has instructed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to close the deal. Van Gaal’s determination is in part believed to be fueled by his discontent with the midfield options he has inherited at Old Trafford.
If Vidal were to arrive it would likely spell the end for at least one member of the club’s midfield. Currently, Marouane Fellaini appears the most likely candidate to make way. The powerful Belgian became a symbol for the decline under David Moyes last season after arriving for a £27.5 million fee from Moyes’s former club Everton. In recent days, Napoli have been heavily linked with ending what has so far been a nightmare time at Old Trafford for Fellaini, either via a loan move or a permanent transfer. Although United are thought to willing take a significant loss on the player, agreeing to a transfer fee and matching Fellaini’s personal terms could be a stumbling block. However, Napoli have confirmed their interest in the 26-year-old.
"Fellaini is one of the names that we are considering to strengthen our midfield, but it is not the only one,” Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, reports Sky Sports. “His hair could be in line with the Neapolitan style!”
While an upgrade in midfield would certainly be appreciated, Van Gaal’s priority will surely be bringing in defensive reinforcements. The Dutch coach’s desire to play with three center-backs has left options thin on the ground.
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen continues to be strongly linked with a transfer. With the Belgium international having lost his place in the first team and in the last year of his contract, Arsenal are thought to be receptive to a £10 million offer from Manchester United. According to the Daily Mail, there could be a decision made over Vermaelen’s future when he holds talks with manager Arsène Wenger in the coming days.
The dream acquisition for Van Gaal would surely be Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels. It is a deal that has always looked unlikely, with Dortmund determined not to lose another star name after the exit of Robert Lewandowski and manager Jürgen Klopp having recently scoffed off the idea of his central defender moving to Old Trafford.
Nonetheless, the Daily Mirror claims that a £20 million deal is now close, with United being helped by Dortmund’s impending capture of Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori on loan. The idea of Dortmund accepting just £20 million for a World Cup winner and one of Europe’s highest-rated center-backs and then replacing him with a player with little experience at the top level seems rather fanciful, however.